20:56 GMT03 August 2020
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    The long-time Russian ally looks to one of Moscow’s biggest adversaries to upgrade its land-based weapons capabilities.

    The Polish and Slovakian governments are negotiating the purchase of eight-wheel drive Rosomak armored modular vehicles (AMV) by Slovakia, Poland’s defense ministry confirmed in a statement this week. The announcement by Poland follows unsubstantiated news reports that Slovakia’s Defense Ministry had scrapped the acquisition plan.

    Bartlomiej Misiewicz, the Polish Defense Ministry spokesperson, said negotiations "will be continued, as indicated by the talks by the defense ministers of Poland and Slovakia that took place during NATO’s summit in Warsaw."

    Under the original plan discussed by the two parties, the Slovak military was to acquire 30 tanks, which are built by the Polish arms manufacturer Rosomak S.A., within a three-year period in what would be the single largest Polish-Slovak military deal in history. 

    After information about the deal began to surface from the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, an unnamed Slovak Defense Ministry official told Slovakian media outlet SME that the project was "stopped due to military and economic disadvantageousness for Slovakia."

    The two governments initially signed a letter of intent to cooperate on military transactions back in July 2015. Following the signing, Poland’s then-Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz announced that Rosomak S.A. would obtain more than $30 million from the contract. The deal would also bring jobs to the Slovakian economy with the country’s defense industry slated to produce the tank’s turret. 

    The deal was designed to enable the Slovak Armed Forces to replace the outdated OT-64 SKOT armored personnel carriers first designed back in the 1960s.

    Slovakia and Russia are long-time allies potentially complicating the deal as the Polish government under President Andrzej Duda has become increasingly hostile towards Moscow serving as a staging ground for a series of massive wargames along the Polish-Russian border culminating in June with the Anaconda War Games featuring over 30,000 troops unfortunately scheduled for the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

    The Polish government has called on NATO to provide a permanent troop presence to shield Warsaw from the mystical specter of ‘Russian aggression’ with some security analysts wondering if Poland is crying wolf to receive enhanced military and financial aid from NATO.


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